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September 9, 2004

Declarations of Intent, New York 1843-1850

Naturalization is the process by which an alien becomes an American citizen.

Naturalization Records are very important to your genealogical research. They can help you find the date, ship, and port of arrival, and the place of birth for your ancestor.

How much information is found on them will depend on when the naturalization was done. The naturalization process did not have to happen in one court, or in one state. It was not mandatory and not all aliens became citizens, and not all completed the process once they started it.

Before 1906, the declaration of intent generally contains more genealogically useful information than the petition. Petitions before 1906 usually show only a name, former allegiance, and date of naturalization. The declaration may include the alien's exact date of immigration into the United States.

In general, after living in the United States for 2 years, an alien could file a Declaration of Intent (also called First Papers) to become a citizen.

The entire index to Books 7 & 8 APRIL 1843-MAY 1850 for Declarations of Intent, New York 1827-1895 is now online at

These are from the Justice's Court, Albany, New York. To go directly to the start of this index to Declarations of Intent, start at

There are 7 reels of microfilm containing the Declarations of Intent. What Olive Tree Genealogy volunteers have typed up is an index to those Declarations, with page numbers to help you find the original. Instructions for viewing the original Declarations are given online

To see the list of free online databases for New York Naturalization Records, start at